In today’s busy lifestyle, we maybe can’t avoid stress, but there are ways to control it as it can lead to certain mental and physical health problems. An excellent way to manage stress is relaxation techniques.
But, many people don’t understand the great benefits they’ll get from the regular practice of these techniques, so they don’t include them in their daily plan.
These techniques are slowing down the breathing and heart rate, raising blood flow to major muscles, lowering blood pressure, lowering the stress hormones’ activity, easing muscle tension, improving the mood and concentration, and reducing fatigue, frustration, and anger.
We present to you 8 simple relaxation techniques to lower your stress levels.
- Guided imagery, or imagery techniques and visualization, are a great way to reduce stress.
- They involve the systematic practice of developing a detailed mental image in your head of some peaceful and attractive environment or setting.
- In this way, your mind will be distracted from the stressful thoughts and focused on something much more pleasant.
Here’s just one way to do guided visualization:
- Sit comfortably in a quiet place with closed eyes.
- Take a couple of slow and deep breaths to relax your body and mind. Imagine you’re in a wonderful location you’d like to see.
- To make the imaginary location more vivid in your mind, focus on the different sensory attributes.
- Keep doing this until you notice you are calmed.
- Then, slowly return to the reality with your mind, and then open your eyes.
- Yoga simply radiates peace and calmness throughout the body and mind.
- It includes both, stationary and moving poses to help relax your body and calm your mind.
3. RELAXING MUSIC
- You might have heard already, but listening to slow and soothing music has a tremendous impact on the mind and body.
- It lowers the stress hormone levels and absorbs your complete attention.
- In this way, it distracts your mind from the stressful thoughts, helping you to explore your feelings and emotions.
- There’s a certain music that causes relaxation, thus being ideal for meditation.
4. DEEP BREATHING
- Take a couple of deep breaths whenever you feel under stress.
- This is an instant stress reliever.
- Deep breathing is a simple but potent technique when it comes to relaxation.
- This relaxation technique reduces the blood pressure, slows down the heart rate, oxygenates your blood, clears your mind, and helps center your body.
- More oxygen while breathing deeply means less anxiety and stress.
- Sit in a straight position with closed eyes. Put one hand on your stomach and start inhaling through your nose slowly to feel the breath filling your abdominal area.
- Hold in this position for 5 seconds, and then do the same thing as you exhale through your mouth.
- Continue doing this for 5-10 minutes.
- You can try breathing from your stomach while in a lying position, as sitting one is more difficult for this type of breathing exercise.
5. MINDFULNESS MEDITATION
- The old relaxation technique called meditation can as well help you release your stress and anxiety.
- It controls the stress by lowering the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
- Mindfulness meditation is beneficial in so many ways when it comes to dealing with psychological stress.
- It involves a comfortable sitting position and breathing in a way to focus your mind on the present moment, without drifting into past or future concerns (2).
- A great and quick way to decrease your stress is laughing.
- Not only that it will lighten your mood, but a good sense of humor will also cause physical changes in your body.
- Laughing improves the intake of air rich in oxygen, and increases the number of the brain-released endorphins that reduce the levels of cortisol and adrenaline (stress-causing hormones), thus improving your mood.
- It also helps lower the physical symptoms of stress and cool down the stress response.
- Massage is one of the best ways to relieve and prevent stress.
- You can give yourself a nice massage that involves rubbing, pressing, and manipulating your skin, tendons, muscles, and ligaments.
- This massage is part of the alternative and complementary medicine treatment for lowering pain, stress, and muscle tension.
- What’s more, massage helps to fall asleep, something which can be very difficult when a person is under stress.
8. WALKING BREAKS
- A short walk or even 10 minutes can boost your endorphins which in turn will lower stress hormones and release mild depression.
- This rhythmic exercise engages not only your legs but also your arms. If performed mindfully, it relieves stress.
- In order to achieve that, you should fully concentrate on the present and on your body, instead of your thoughts.
- Focus on the sensation in your arms and legs, and your breathing as you move.